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Tomorrow would be the last day of my dream trip. In the spring, I had started on a 3,500-kilometer hike. Now, as the leaves were changing color and with 10 kilometers left, I was about to fulfill my dream of hiking the Rainbow Trail.

While I relaxed by my campfire, various thoughts went through my mind. I laughed softly at myself as I remembered the first tiring day. When I started out that day, it did not take me long to realize how foolish I was; I had packed too much. I was carrying almost 30 kilograms, and it was killing me. At my first stop, I took out a lot of canned goods, books, and other heavy things. From then on, with my load lighter, I was able to make good time.

I had decided to do this long hike after quitting my job in the city. I really liked my job, but I had been working 80 hours a week and traveling a lot on business. It seemed I was only working, and there was no other meaning to my life. Finally, it all had become too much. I decided to take some extended time off.

Tonight I had cooked the last of my food pork and beans. Boy, it had taken me a while to get used to cooking over a fire. My first weeks of hiking were filled with horrible meals — undercooked rice, overcooked vegetables, and burnt beans. And sleeping outside on the ground — well, that also took some time getting used to.

But my biggest challenge was that I had to push myself to go on, rain or shine, hot or cold. There were no days off when I could stay indoors because of the weather. There were some days when I walked 15 to 20 kilometers in pouring rain. In the beginning, on colder days the walking helped me stay warm, but later on, the really hot days were difficult. Fortunately, I could take breaks whenever there was a stream or a lake nearby.

Although I spent most days alone, occasionally I met some interesting people during this trip. There was Sam, the postal worker, who was walking the long hike in shorter sections. He could only hike during his vacation when he often hiked 100 to 200 kilometers. He had five more years to go to complete the entire trail. And there was a happy couple, Suzanne and David, who were hiking as part of their honeymoon. But the person who moved me the most was Mary, a retired teacher, who was doing the hike in memory of her husband, who had loved the outdoors all his life.

After tomorrow, I would be back in civilization. I knew it would take a while to become comfortable again with all its conveniences at my fingertips. For the past six months, just to be able to do laundry or eat fresh vegetables at a salad bar had been a treat. I did these two things every time I was able to go into a town, which was not often. But the best thing about being in towns was … ice cream! An ice-cream cone could make my aches and pains disappear as I let the ice cream slowly melt in my mouth.

Well, I needed to get some sleep. This would be my last night sleeping outside for some time. Over the last few weeks, it had started getting chillier. As I prepared my sleeping bag, I thought about what I had learned. Now I was much more relaxed and calm. Being by myself had given me a lot of time to think. I had gained the ability to enjoy silence and be silent. At the same time, challenging myself physically taught me that I had the ability to do more than I had thought. And I now had a new and deep respect for nature. As I gradually fell asleep, I knew I was ready for whatever the future would hold, thanks to the inner strength I had developed during these past months.

問1 The author laughed when he remembered the first day because he 42.

① felt it was the happiest day for him
② had known very little about hiking
③ had met many interesting people
④ spent that day in front of the fire

問2 The author decided to take a long hike because he 43.

① could stop at small towns along the way
② lost his well-paid job in the city
③ wanted to stop and think about his life
④ was dedicated to spending time in nature

問3 Sam needed five more years to finish the trail because he 44.

① walked only a limited distance every year
② walked too much while doing his job
③ was carrying too much in his pack
④ was walking with his wife and friends

問4 The phrase at my fingertips is closest in meaning to 45.

① clearly marked
② easily reached
③ finally finished
④ softly touched

問5 What did the author do on a typical day on the trail? 46

① He ate ice cream and did laundry in town.
② He enjoyed meeting interesting people.
③ He waited in his tent for the weather to improve.
④ He walked in the wild and cooked by himself.










問1 42 正解 ②
① それは彼にとって最も幸せな日だと感じた
② ハイキングについてほとんど知らなかった
③ たくさんの興味深い人々に出会った
④ 火の前でその日を過ごした

問2 43 正解 ③
① 途中で小さな町に立ち寄ることができる
② 町で給料の高い仕事を失った
③ 立ち止まって自分の人生を考えたかった
④ 自然の中で時間を過ごすことに専念していた

問3 44 正解 ①
① 毎年限られた距離だけ歩いていた
② 仕事をしている間、歩きすぎていた
③ リュックにあまりに多くのものを入れて運んでいた
④ 妻や友達と一緒に歩いていた

問4 45 正解 ②
at my fingertips という慣用句は45に最も意味が近い。
① はっきりと印をつけた
② 簡単に手の届く
③ ついに終了した
④ そっと触れた

問5 46 正解 ④
① 彼は町でアイスクリームを食べて洗濯した。
② 彼は興味深い人々との出会いを楽しんだ。
③ 彼は天候が良くなるのをテントの中で待っていた。
④ 彼は荒野を歩いて一人で調理した。

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